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The challenges faced in life by first and second generation asian...

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The challenges faced in life by first and second generation asian americans.

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  • April 17, 2003
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The Similarities and Differences between Asian American Generations

There are many challenges that Asian American individuals face in the world, from the period of the1800's when the first wave of immigration began to appear in America, to the year of 2003 today. Each Asian American has the ability to tell a different story about their experiences as a minority in the United States. However, there remains a connection between the individuals of the minority group. And one of the greatest factors that continually proceeds to create differences between one Asian American and another is their generation of existence.

One of the most important things to first clarify is what an Asian American is. "A person is classified as an Asian American if they are an American of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry" (Soc. Culture newsgroup). What determines whether or not they are first or second-generation, is that the immigrants are known as first-generation. The children of the immigrants are known as second-generation, and their children are known as third-generation. The pattern continues as Asian American people continue to reproduce. There is often a big cultural gap between the first-generation (who grew up overseas) and later generations (who grew up here). This is also topic of many pieces of Asian American literature. Often, language is lost somewhere between the first and third-generation, making it hard for the different generations to communicate with each other, which causes the gap to increase more and more.

"They work hard. They can inspire other people and themselves" (Cebrzynski). When the first generation Asian Americans began their lives in America, there were many different conclusions that people had decided upon about them, including this one. And there are few who would doubt it either. Entering a new country with a drive to begin a new and more successful life, the first-generation Asian Americans were willing to give all that they had to get...